IT may be the top spot in Western Australia for horse sports, but the State Equestrian Centre in Brigadoon is also an area of environmental and cultural significance.
Located in the City of Swan, the Waugal Lagoon wetlands at the equestrian centre are one of the most sacred Aboriginal sites in Perth.
The wetlands are also part of the critically endangered Swan vegetation complex and are classified as a Bush Forever site.
City of Swan Mayor David Lucas said a joint conservation project with World Wildlife Fund for Nature was now underway to protect the wetlands and their Aboriginal heritage.
“The city recognises the wetland area both for its environmental value and the significance that it holds to the traditional Owners of the area,” he said.
“The city received $44,000 from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ riverbank program, and is now working alongside World Wildlife Fund Australia and Perth Natural Resource Management to complete the project.”
Cr Lucas said the project involved fencing off the area to protect it from nearby equestrian activity, planting native species and undertaking weed control to encourage wildlife to thrive.
As part of the project, the city renegotiated its lease agreement with Equestrian WA to remove the wetland from the lease, which means it is now under the care of the city.
Swan Valley-Gidgegannup ward councillor Rod Henderson said the project demonstrated the city’s commitment toward enhancing, preserving and protecting its local nature reserves.
“The city has objectives and strategies in place to prioritise the conservation of local natural vegetation, open spaces and bushland,” he said.
“We are confident this project will improve the biodiversity of the site and ensure it is protected for many future generations.”